Call our experts today
020 7183 7766


Sweden Travel Guide

The land of the ancient Vikings and the birthplace of Nordic crime fiction, Sweden has a split personality according to the seasons. In the summer, idyllic weather allows tourists and locals alike to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming and other sports late into the evening, as the Midnight Sun shines until nearly 11pm.

However, a winter holiday in Sweden is full of other kinds of activities, such as dog sledding, ice fishing, skiing, and snowshoeing, as the bitterly cold weather brings icy wind, deep snow, and long dark nights.

Sweden's obsession with the outdoors is only one aspect if the country's personality. Millions of visitors enjoy the sophisticated cultural delights of the cities, especially in the capital of Stockholm. With a proud history going back several millennia, the many museums and royal buildings around the city are fascinating to visit. Stockholm's modern attractions are just as engaging, with a lively nightlife, and a plethora of excellent restaurants and shops.

But Stockholm isn't the only city in Sweden worth visiting. Smaller towns such as Gothenburg, Malmo, Uppsala, and the northern Kiruna all offer unique attractions for tourists in Sweden, ranging from amusement parks to historical churches and boat tours of the archipelagos in the Baltic Sea.

Best time to visit Sweden

The best time to visit Sweden is during the mild summer months (May, June, and July), when the famous Midnight Sun shines until at least 10:30 at night and the weather is warm and pleasant. Travellers should keep in mind that July is peak tourist season in Sweden, and popular areas can become crowded.

Travelling to Sweden in August is a good way to save money, as the flights and accommodation are slightly cheaper and the weather is still pleasant for outdoor activities. The weather in Sweden varies dramatically, with bitterly cold winter months (November to March), although Stockholm stays fairly temperate due to coastal currents.

What to see in Sweden

-Witness Sweden's famous Midnight Sun in Kiruna.

-Visit the historic open-air museum at Skansen.

-Venture north to see the Northern Lights.

-Explore the island of Gotland.

What to do in Sweden

-Learn about the millennia of history at the open sir museum, Skansen.

-Take a boat tour of the Stockholm Archipelago.

-Ride the rollercoasters at Liseberg Amusement Park.

-Join in on the festivities at the Summer Solstice.

Getting to Sweden

Getting to Sweden from the UK is easy due to a large number of direct, cheap flights to Stockholm from London and other major UK cities. There are also direct flights from a few US cities to Stockholm. Most flights to Sweden land at Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport, 28 miles (45km) north of Stockholm.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, and Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.


Fred Akerstrom, Daniel Norgren, ABBA, and Swedish House Mafia.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009).


Snapps, and Glogg (mulled wine).


Gravlax (salt-cured salmon), lutefisk (fish cured in lye), and surdegsbrod (Sourdough bread).

What to buy

Dala Horse statuettes, Swedish brands such as Acne, La Bruket, and Stutterheim.

What to pack

Very warm clothes, including boots, a hat, and thick gloves are needed for a winter holiday in Sweden. A Summer holiday usually requires sturdy walking or hiking shoes, light, breathable clothing for the day, and a light jacket for the evenings.

What's on in Sweden

Stockholm celebrates each December as the Nobel Prize Day presents its awards to outstanding scientists and authors, while all over Sweden, people take the time to enjoy idyllic summer weather and have a party on Midsummer's Eve.

Did you know?

-The population of Sweden is about 9.5 million, which is marginally more than the population of New York City.

-Swedes have the longest life expectancy in Europe.

-On Easter, children in Sweden dress up as witches and go trick-or-treating.

A final word

With different personalities in each season, a holiday in Sweden offers new fascination with each visit.


Swedish is the main language, and the Sami population in the north speaks Lapp. Most Swedes speak and understand English; many are proficient in other European languages such as German, French, and Spanish.


The Swedish monetary unit is the krona or crown (SEK), which is divided into 100 ore. Banks exchange money during business hours from Monday to Friday; visitors can also change money at airports, ferry terminals, post offices, and Forex exchange offices, which are open daily. There are numerous ATMs throughout the country, most of which accept MasterCard and Visa. Most major credit cards are accepted throughout Sweden, and mobile payment apps are very popular.


Electric current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Standard European two-pin plugs are used.


A service charge is included in restaurant bills and waitrons may see a tip as demeaning. It's best to check how a tip will be received before leaving one. Passengers generally round up the fare when using a taxi. Tips are welcome for exceptionally good service in hotels, but are not expected.


Sweden is an extremely safe country to visit. There is some petty crime in the cities where tourists congregate, but crime is generally at much lower levels than elsewhere in Europe. Most visits to Sweden are trouble free.


The country code for Sweden is +46. Travellers can purchase local prepaid SIM cards for unlocked phones; public WiFi is widespread.


No health risks are associated with travel to Sweden and medical care in the country is excellent. Reciprocal health agreements exist with other European Union countries, though the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for UK citizens after Brexit. The GHIC allows UK citizens access to state healthcare during visits to the EU. The GHIC is not valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, nor is it an alternative to travel insurance. All non-EU travellers should ensure they have comprehensive travel insurance. Everyone 16 years of age and older should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travel.

Public Holidays

New Year's Day1 Jan1 Jan
Good Friday10 Apr2 Apr
Easter Monday13 Apr5 Apr
Labour Day1 May1 May
Swedish National Day6 Jun6 Jun
Midsummer Day20 Jun26 Jun
All Saints' Day31 Oct6 Nov
Christmas Day25 Dec25 Dec
Boxing Day26 Dec26 Dec
Ascension Day21 May13 May
Whit Sunday31 May23 May
Epiphany6 Jan6 Jan


Sweden is no stranger to corporate culture and is home to many global companies such as Skype and Spotify, not to mention popular automotive company, Volvo. Scandinavians, and Swedes in particular, value the inherent equality and dignity of all people; this is reflected in business, where consensus and compromise is valued in the decision-making process.

Decisions often take a long time to be made, as all opinions are considered. It best to avoid overt displays of wealth or status; business practice and personal conduct should always be rational, calm, and disciplined. Swedes often come across as overly reserved, but business meetings are efficient.

The business world in Sweden draws a strict line between work and social gatherings, so foreigners shouldn't expect many post-work social events or dinner invitations. The best way to circumvent the reserved nature of most Swedes in the business environment is at the twice-daily fika, or coffee break, when the general rules regarding business behaviour are relaxed a little.

Punctuality is vital and it is a point of pride for many Scandinavians, illustrating mutual respect. It is important to schedule an appointment in advance and have it confirmed shortly before any engagement. Handshakes for men and women are common after introduction and first names are often used instead of surnames.

Dress codes are conservative and smart, but suits are not always necessary. Business people in Sweden should endeavour to show honesty, transparency, professionalism, and mutual respect in all business dealings. Sweden is one of the least corrupt countries in the world, making it a pleasure to do business here.

Business hours run from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Friday. The language of business is Swedish, but English is generally spoken throughout the country and many multinationals will use it as the language of business when necessary.

Passport & Visa

All visitors are required to have visible means of support as well as tickets and documentation for return or onward travel. The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. All of these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option that allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all. It is highly recommended that travellers' passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from their travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.


Sweden is very liberal and secular, and equality is an important part of the culture. Boastfulness and open conflict are usually avoided, as is discussing work as an entry into a conversation.

Chivalry is often considered an outdated concept in Sweden, which is one of the most gender equal countries in the world. Gestures such as opening doors for women are not considered necessary.

Smoking is not allowed in indoor establishments such as restaurants and bars; swedes have a reputation for being meticulously tidy, so it is polite to remove shoes when entering a Swedish home.

Duty Free

Travellers to Sweden over 18 years from non-EU countries and residents who arrive on a commercial flight, from a trip exceeding 20 hours do not have to pay duty on the following items: 200 cigarettes, or 100 cheroots, or 50 cigars, or 250g tobacco, or a proportional mix of these. One litre of spirits with alcohol content higher than 22 percent, or two litres of fortified or sparkling wine, and two litres of non-sparkling wine and beer are allowed duty free; other goods to the value of SEK 1,700 are also allowed. Prohibited items include drugs, other than those for medical or scientific purposes; and potatoes that are grown outside the EU.


Swedish Tourist Office:

112 (General).

Entry Requirements

To enter Sweden, US citizens require a passport valid for three months beyond intended stay. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

United Kingdom citizens require a passport valid for at least three months beyond period of intended stay, with the exception of passports marked 'British Citizen', 'British Subject' (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom), and 'British Overseas Territories Citizen' issued by Gibraltar, which will be accepted if valid on arrival. No visa is required for passports endorsed 'British Citizen', 'British Overseas Territories Citizen' issued by Gibraltar, Identity Cards issued by Gibraltar, and 'British Subject' (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom). All other British nationals are entitled to a maximum stay of 90 days without a visa, within a 180 day period.

Canadians require a passport valid for the period of three months beyond the intended stay to enter Sweden. No visa is required for a maximum stay of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

South Africans require a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay as well as a visa for entry to Sweden.

Irish nationals require a valid passport, but no visa is necessary.

New Zealand nationals require a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay. No visa is necessary for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

Embassy Consulates

United States Embassy, Stockholm: +46 8 783 5300.

British Embassy, Stockholm: +46 8 671 3000.

Canadian Embassy, Stockholm: +46 8 453 3000.

South African Embassy, Stockholm: +46 8 824 3950.

Irish Embassy, Stockholm: +46 8 5450 4040.

New Zealand Embassy, Brussels (also responsible for Sweden): +32 2 512 1040.

Embassy Consulates

Swedish Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 467 2600.

Swedish Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 20 7917 6400.

Swedish Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 244 8200.

Swedish Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 426 6400.

Swedish Consulate General, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1 265 0888.

Consulate-General of Sweden, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 4 499 9895.


Dotted with picturesque medieval villages, tranquil lakes, lush forests, coastal island archipelagos, and cosmopolitan cities, sightseeing in Sweden is anything but dull. For a break from historical and cultural attractions, visitors can hop on board a ferry or enjoy a picnic in one of Sweden's countless parks.

They can also head north to explore the icy tundra and UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Laponian area in Lappland, sample some reindeer steaks, marvel at the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), and explore the Ice Hotel, which is sculpted each year by the Sami people in the winter months.

A trip to the capital, Stockholm, in the south is worthwhile too, as it boasts more than a dozen islands to explore via day cruises, a wonderful arts and nightlife scene, and ocean fishing from the heart of the city. Travellers should visit the quaint Gamla Stan (Old Town), a maze of narrow cobble-stoned streets shaded by historic houses circling the Royal Castle where Swedish royalty has resided since the 13th century, or explore the canals of Gothenburg.

The west coast fishing villages are the place to be for seafood lovers, while those who are more into culture will be smitten with Uppsala, the ancient Viking city where the last building was constructed in the 18th century and more than 150 museums can be investigated.

The summer months are the most popular time to visit Sweden, but the country truly is a year-round destination, even though the winter months are short on sunlight. With a wealth of attractions and historical sites, visitors will need a few weeks, if not months, to fully enjoy the magic and charm of Sweden.


The climate in Sweden varies from north to south. Despite its northerly placement, the country is generally temperate due to the warm offshore Gulf Stream currents. There are three different climatic zones in Sweden: the south has an oceanic climate, the centre has a humid continental climate, and the north has a subarctic climate.

Summers in the south and centre of Sweden are warm and pleasant, with average high temperatures ranging between 68F and 77F (20C and 25C). In the winter, temperatures in these regions average between 25F and 36F (-4C and 2C).

In the north it is substantially colder, with short, cool summers and long, snowy winters, while temperatures frequently drop below freezing between September and May. Rain is possible in Sweden at any time of year, but is most common in late summer. The southwest of the country receives the most rain.

The best time to visit Sweden is in the summer months from June to August, when the days are long and warm and the open-air museums and restaurants are open. As summer is the most busy and expensive time to visit Sweden, some travellers prefer to go in the spring or autumn, which are both very pleasant seasons and are far less crowded.

Showing: 8828 Cruises
30 sweden